There’s an excellent article on the prevalence of the trauma plot in contemporary literature in the January 3-10 issue of The New Yorker, which grabbed my attention for two reasons: first, as a writer wanting to understand more about the craft (and which types of stories are currently popular and why) but secondly, as someone … Continue reading Time to reevaluate the prominence trauma has in our stories
You should never trust a person wearing a mask ... unless you’re in the middle of a pandemic and that person is Jacinda Ardern. I interviewed Jacinda Ardern in Crave cafe last Thursday in what was a surreal and somewhat discomfiting experience. Surreal because after two years of trying to get this interview, and after … Continue reading Beauty and the beast: Some thoughts about Jacinda Ardern
I’m starting to grieve the idea of going back to normal. Not that I think ‘normal’—meaning the way things were—is achievable, ever again. We won’t come out of this and return to what we had, ever. But some things will return, for sure. Some I’m happy about. Others I’m not looking forward to at all. … Continue reading Who wants normal? Not me
The truth is, we’re going to come through this four-week period of social isolation with flying colours, because, let’s face it, most of us live in states of social isolation in the course of our daily lives anyway. Seriously, what will we miss over the next month? Spending time in cafes? Hanging out in pubs? … Continue reading We all lived in bubbles long before COVID-19 came along
Yes, I felt an overwhelming wave of melancholy as PM Jacinda Ardern The Magnificent announced, in suitably serious tones, that the country would go into lockdown in 48 hours. I responded by racing out to grab two of the things I love most about living: 2kg of coffee beans (roasted by the maestro Stu Cross … Continue reading As Sting says, Driven to tears
Yes, I’ve heard the question asked repeatedly over recent days and it’s one that I want to have a crack at answering. I’m aware that I can’t do that as anything other than what I am—a fairly simple man who grew up in a very conservative evangelical church in the north of England, but whose … Continue reading Where is God in all this anyway?
I finally ventured out today. It's hard to accept how much the world has changed in such a short period of time. I revisited places where I used to hang out, places suddenly emptied of people. Those I did run into had the same cautious look in their eye, as if to say, don't come … Continue reading I ventured out today
My daughter (the second of four) asked me today whether I was afraid—of the coronavirus and the devastating implications of the current pandemic. My answer was no. I don't feel afraid—but it was only later that I was able to think about why not. Here are some of my reasons. I remember the GFC in … Continue reading COVID-19: Should we be fearful of the coming dystopia?
Our last coffee was had beneath the gaze of Mary, mother of Jesus, on December 17, 2018, some months before she left. I didn’t know it would be our last one-on-one conversation. Neither did she. That’s the point—we rarely know. It’s only afterwards, in retrospect, that these final conversations find their light. Fortuitously, the conversation … Continue reading ‘I will be known’: A treasured conversation